Basic School Teachers’ Conceptions of Assessment in the Sissala East Municipality

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Basic School Teachers’ Conceptions of Assessment in the Sissala East Municipality

Shani Osman1, Anthony Bordoh2and Isaac Eshun3
1Department of Social Sciences, Tumu College of Education, Tumu, Ghana
2,3Department of Social Studies, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana

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Abstract-This study employed a sequential explanatory mixed-method design to examine basic school teachers’ classroom assessment conceptions in the Sissala East Municipality in the Upper West Region of Ghana. In particular, the study examined the types of classroom assessment conceptions of teachers and their demographic characteristics that influence their assessment conceptions. Quantitative data gathered from 203 respondents were analyzed using mean, standard deviations and Pearson product-moment correlation. In the follow-up qualitative phase, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 12 participants and the data subjected to interpretive thematic analysis. The findings revealed that the participants demonstrated positive conceptions of assessment as a means for ensuring student and school accountability as well as improving teaching and learning, with assessment for student accountability yielding the highest mean value. Also, the findings revealed that the relationships among student accountability, school accountability and improvement were moderate and that these levels have a positive effect on one another. It was recommended, among other issues, that teachers need to note that assessment is acceptable if motivated by a particular reason, whether it is for improvement, student accountability, or school accountability.

Key words: conceptions, assessment, conception of assessment, Sissala East, basic school teachers


Assessment of students’ learning is pivotal in any educational enterprise; as such, teachers cannot avoid assessing their students. Assessment has been explained or defined variously. According to Nitko (2001) cited in Okyere and Larbi (2019), assessment involves collecting information purposely to make decisions on students’ learning, curricula, programmes, and educational policy. Brown (2011) describes assessment as a mechanism of interpreting information regarding student achievement using a range of approaches or practices.Similarly, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment
(NaCCA) (2019) notes that assessment is “a process of collecting and evaluating information about learners and using the information to make decisions to improve their learning” (p.27). From the above, assessment is pivotal in any instructional process.
Assessment could be carried out to serve accountability purposes for ascertaining the extent to which students have learned or plan and improve instruction in educational contexts (Danielson, 2008, cited in Azis, 2015). These two